»Goals and Objectives

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» Museum d'Ethnographie de Bordeaux

Projet Materials

Materials Research Project

Museums have conflicting constraints: preserve the artifacts they are storing and make them available to public. Cultural artifacts are fragile and light sensitive. 3D scanning is used for sculptures but is limited. 3D printers are also limited in their range of colors. We address the full chain of material acquisition and restitution. Our idea is to scan cultural artifacts, capture all their material geometry and reproduce them. Reproduction can be done through 2.5D printing or virtual reality.

Materials is funded by Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) from October 2015 to September 2019.


Goals and Objectives

Museums are operating under conflicting constraints: they have to preserve the artifacts they are storing, while making them available to the public, for viewing, and to researchers for studying. Many cultural artifacts are so fragile that simply exposing them to the light damages them. Recent advances have used 3D scanning, combined with virtual reality and 3D printing for the preservation and study of sculptures, and flatbed scanners for the preservation of books and prints. Both approaches are limited: they acquire the geometry and the color, but not complex material properties.

Several cultural artifacts, such as silk cloths and oil paints, have a subtle and complex appearance: their aspect changes depending on the incoming light and the position of the observer. Current scanners are not able to capture these subtle effects, and existing printers, either 2D or 3D, are unable to reproduce them. Existing research on material appearance shows that this microscopic geometry and color are essential in the overall appearance of materials.

Current 3D printers are limited in their spatial accuracy and in the gamut of colors they can reproduce. On the other hand, 2D printers are very good for spatial accuracy and color management, but are limited in the geometry of what they are printing: a flat surface. One of the partners in this project, Océ Print Logic Technologies, has developed a prototype 2.5D printer, capable of printing protruding surfaces, with the color and spatial accuracy of a 2D printer.

Our goal in this project is to address the entire chain of material acquisition and restitution, based on this micro-geometry. Our idea is to scan complex cultural artifacts, such as cloths, capturing all the geometry of their materials at the microscopic level, then process the information to further reproduce the artifacts for study by public and researchers. Reproduction can be either done through virtual reality or through 3D models.


(Publication list generated automatically using the HAL archive)